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Updated Oct 29 2003

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The Bill of Rights

9-11's Endangerment of Civil Liberties

-Legislation related to the attack of September 11,2001

Democracy Links



New Mexico Joint Memorial Affirming Civil Liberties (SJM4) Set for Senate Vote Wednesday, OCt 29, afternoon

How to support your constitutional freedoms

Joint memorials in the New Mexico House and Senate are set to challenge federal actions that violate or infringe on constitutionally guaranteed liberties. Senator Cisco McSorley in the NM Senate has introduced Senate Joint Memorial 4 (SJM4), "AFFIRMING CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES AND DECLARING OPPOSITION TO FEDERAL MEASURES THAT INFRINGE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES".

The same memorial almost passed the Legislature last spring session, passing the House 53-11 but tabled in the final hours of the Senate.

The joint memorial will join those of Alaska, Hawaii, and Vermont as well as more than 200 cities and counties, in supporting and defending the Bill of Rights from federal encroachment.

In New Mexico, the City of Santa Fe passed a Resolution In Support of the Bill of Rights on October 30, 2002, while communities around the state, including Albuquerque, Aztec, Farmington, Grant County, Las Vegas, Soccoro, and Taos have recently passed resolutions protesting the infringement of our constitutional freedoms by the USA Patriot Act and abuses by John Ashcrofts' Department of Justice.

Constitutional scholars and public watchdog groups on both left and right claim that federal legislation, presidential Executive Orders, and FBI edicts since 9-11 violate many of the amendments to the Constitution contained in the Bill of Rights. For instance, the USA PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001,

  • authorizes secret searches and seizures without notification;
  • grants federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies broad access to personal, medical, financial, library and educational records;
  • allows wiretapping and internet monitoring without customary judicial oversight.
Recent Presidential Executive Orders established military tribunals, along with secret detainments, secret evidence, and secret trials. They give President Bush the power to single-handedly label American citizens 'enemy combatants', thus stripping them of civil liberties, including rights to due process. In a blow to freedom of speech and association as guaranteed by the First Amendment, the FBI is allowed to conduct surveillance of religious services, internet chat rooms, political demonstrations and public meetings of any kind- actions not seen since the days of COINTELPRO operations that targeted activists like Martin Luther King, Jr.

Additional proposals by the Bush administration have included plans for organized spying by mailmen, cable installers, and service people (the TIPS program); creation of a dossier on every American with complete personal, medical, financial, communications and other data (TIA, the Total Information Awareness program); and reconfiguration of the internet for ease of surveillance, allowing direct monitoring of all internet and email communications without the need for a warrant.

Plans to extend the USA PATRIOT Act in the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003" were leaked from the Justice Department February 7. The new Act would remove judicial oversight on phone taps and search warrants, allow police spying on American citizens and groups, and in some cases strip Americans of their citizenship and rights. Critics of the plan charge that trampling the Constitution is not necessary to national security. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, top Democrat on the U. S. House Judiciary Committee, said the legislation "turns the Bill of Rights completely on its head."

To support these memorials, please do the following:

  • contact your state representatives and ask them to say 'yes' to Memorials AFFIRMING CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES.
  • Write, call, and email your NM state legislature representatives and voice your strong support for these memorials;
  • Contact your radio and TV stations and newspapers, and ask them why there is so little news on the destruction of our Constitutional fabric, or to the very serious threats to our fundamental freedoms as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights;
  • Join our email announcement list for updates and info at Join our email announcement list for updates and info
  • Contact us with your ideas or support! 505-982-6796 or

"The rights of all men are diminshed if the rights of any man are denied."
      -John F. Kennedy

Real patriotism defends and supports not just the symbols, but the founding principles our forefathers fought and died for: those rights granted by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. To remove these freedoms can only lead us away from democracy and our foundations as a nation of liberty and justice sworn to protect the rights of all.

....a frequent recurrence to fundamental absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and keep a government free.
       Ben Franklin

READINGS - Security vs. Liberty?

Freedom And Security? : How A Hayekian Fights Terror The free world can remain so only if governments separate terrorism from crime and limit as well as empower their police forces, says KONRAD HUMMLER.

Judge Rules "Unconstitutional" Key Provisions A judge has ruled that key aspects of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional.

Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision
A professor of constitutional law at George Washington University discusses Ashcroft's plan for U.S. citizens' constitutional rights

Civil Liberties and National Security
A conversation with Harold Koh, Norman Dorsen, and John Deutch, >American Academy of Arts and Sciences

No Due Process For Enemy Combatants
"Chief Justice Rehnquist held that...'the Government may detain individuals whom the government believes to be dangerous.'" "A Conservative News Forum"

Paying for security with liberty - Michael Ignatieff
"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Lawyer's Committee on Civil Rights - After September 11th Organizational statements and letters regarding the USA Patriot Act, the detention of non-citizens, military tribunals, and the FBI's new powers.

Observer Liberty Watch campaign Documents the negative impact of 9-11 on British civil liberties

Anti-Terror Legislation So Far by Reviews the USA Patriot Act and other anti-terrorist legislation.

Turning your back on Leader Bush is now illegal -- Ohio State's graduating class told they would be expelled if they turned their back on Bush in protest...'thundering ovation' expected instead

U.S. citizen in military prison indefinitely - without benefit of lawyer or trial -- ...despite fact that Deputy of Defense says: "I don't think there was actually a plot beyond some fairly loose talk."

U.S. introduces laws that 'mirror the worst excesses of some dictatorships'

The might of corporations undermines democracy
Do Americans want to struggle to create a rich democracy, or are we going to roll over and accept a democracy for the rich?

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on Senate Floor
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Compilation on Civil Liberties
by the Global Dialog Project

Cities Claim Constitutional Freedoms

Cities around the country and across New Mexico are passing Resolutions supporting the Bill of Rights! 186 (as of Oct 11, 2003) U.S. cities have passed resolutions; hundreds of other communities cities have them in process. Here in New Mexico, Santa Fe passed A Resolution In Support of the Bill of Rights on October 30, 2002. Citizens throughout the state, whether Democrat or Republican, have successfully passed resolutions that uphold our fundamental, and constitutionally guaranteed, freedoms. Won't you join us? Read these pages, or email to find out how you can participate.

CivLib Santa Fe

Cities Defend the Bill of Rights

-- Corporate threats to democracy

Coming soon: